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Zimbabwe's new president Mnangagwa calls for unity

Mnangangwa was announced president in the early hours of this morning by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission.

New Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Picture: AFP

HARARE – Zimbabwe’s newly elected President Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on Zimbabweans to be united, saying that his election as president signals a new beginning for the country.

Mnangangwa was announced president in the early hours of Friday morning by the Zimbabwean Electoral Commission.

He received 50.8% of votes, while his opponent Nelson Chamisa got 44.3%.

Mnangangwa succeeded Robert Mugabe last year as interim president, after a military-led takeover.

During his campaign, he claimed that during his tenure as head of government he secured multi-billion dollar investment commitments from global companies, in a bid to resurrect the country’s battered economy.

On the diplomatic front, Mnangangwa says that he has already started talks with the likes of Britain, the US and Russia to get Zimbabwe back on the international stage.

Mnangangwa has thanked Zimbabweans for voting for him, tweeting and saying: “Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams. This is a new beginning. Let us join hands, in peace, unity and love, and together build a new Zimbabwe for all.”

But some are questioning how new this Zimbabwe will be when soldiers can easily be deployed to attack civilians.

VIDEO: Zimbabwe army uses live rounds against protesters

CHAMISA PRESS BRIEFING

After holding the position of interim president since the removal of Robert Mugabe, Mnangagwa has been officially elected president of Zimbabwe.

Celebrations have already begun on the streets of Harare but could they be short-lived?

Chamisa is expected to hold a press briefing after his national chairperson, Morgan Komichi, renounced results which declared Mnangagwa the president of Zimbabwe.

“I represent my candidate Nelson Chamisa. We held a meeting today with the CEO and we’re agreed on the process and this process was not followed,” Komichi said.

Last week, Chamisa's lawyer Thabani Moyo said they had all legal strategies in place to challenge the results of what he calls a non-election.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)