Mnangagwa, who took over from longtime leader Robert Mugabe after a 2017 army coup, suggested on Sunday that anyone questioning the result of last week’s election take their case to court.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, whose members are chosen by the president, announced late Saturday that President Mnangagwa has won a second five-year term with more than 52 percent of the vote.
According to the commission’s results, opposition candidate Nelson Chamisa garnered just 44 percent.
Chamisa, who heads the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), and his party reject the election results. “They stole your voice and vote but never your hope. It’s a blatant and gigantic fraud,” Chamisa wrote Sunday on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Addressing the media later at a news conference, Chamisa said Zimbabwe was suffering through a “vicious cycle of disputed elections” and accused Mnangagwa, who first came to power following a military takeover in 2017, of staging a “coup” against the ballot.
In the meantime, the ZANU-PF denies it has an unfair advantage or seeks to influence the outcome of elections through rigging.
Mnangagwa, who heads the ZANU-PF, welcomed the results of the election which he said was peaceful and demonstrated the country’s democracy was “mature”.
However, an observer team from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) said voting was peaceful but noted issues including voting delays, the banning of rallies, biased state media coverage and the failure of the electoral commission to give candidates access to the voters’ roll.
Addressing a press conference in Harare, ZANU-PF spokesman Christopher Mutsvangwa dismissed criticisms by the SADC and other international observers.
This is Mnangagwa’s second and possibly last term as the constitution limits presidential terms to two. Mnangagwa also narrowly defeated Chamisa in the last presidential election in 2018. The opposition alleged that the election was rigged, but the constitutional court upheld the result.