Mnangagwa calls for unity to build ‘new Zimbabwe’

Zimbabwean president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed the media on Friday night, a few hours after journalists were harassed by riot police.

Zimbabwe's President-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa at a Zanu-PF election rally. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwean president-elect Emmerson Mnangagwa has called on all party leaders to put politics behind and work with him to build a new Zimbabwe.

Mnangagwa addressed the media on Friday night, a few hours after journalists were harassed by riot police, who forced them to pack up their equipment and leave the venue where Nelson Chamisa was meant to address the media.

Mnangagwa explained why police invaded the venue where Chamisa was meant to address the media.

“With the intelligence there gathered, there was likely to be violence. But when the minister got to know about it, he immediately made sure the media is allowed and the opposition party.”

He also shared a message for Chamisa: “You have a crucial role to play in Zimbabwe’s present and unfolding future. Let us both call for peace and unity.”

WATCH: Zimbabweans in SA react to election announcement

He says political leaders, like Chamisa, who still dispute his presidential election are free to approach the courts.

Chamisa has described the results of presidential elections in Zimbabwe as “fraudulent and illegal”.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced Mnangagwa had received 50.8% of the votes while his political opponent Chamisa secured 44.3%.

The commission announced the final presidential results four days after Zimbabweans cast their ballots in a crunch election that drew interest from around the world.

At a press briefing in Harare on Friday afternoon, Chamisa said: “We are going to challenge a number of electoral results. We have reports of where irregularities were done. There is video evidence that exposes that ballot boxes were not sealed.”

Chamisa has demanded that the electoral commission release information around voter turnout and if there were spoiled votes.

“It might be that the people did not vote for the party but then you must show and reveal that in the parliamentary election. What happened to the discrepancy of those 10% votes? [You must show] What then happened to those votes so that there is constituency.”

Mnangagwa has, however, vowed to work with opposition parties to move Zimbabwe forward.

“The time for politics is behind us. Now begins the time for work and progress, a season for greater peace and harmony in our nation Zimbabwe.”

Meanwhile, MDC Alliance supporters living in South Africa say the alliance should be given an opportunity to govern in Zimbabwe.

Many Zimbabweans have returned to South Africa after going home to cast their votes. Eyewitness News spoke to some Zimbabweans in Johannesburg.

This MDC supporter says Chamisa would have brought about change. “The transformation of bringing new jobs and having cash in banks and having our land… we are headed for suffering in the next five years.”

However, some citizens say President Mnangagwa has already brought about positive change. “He’s changed some things, like roadblocks, for those of us doing business in South Africa. It was a good opportunity for us.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)