International leaders have sent congratulatory messages to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, despite the opposition’s claims of a “sham” election.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, China, and Russia were among the first to extend their best wishes to Mnangagwa.
South Africa’s President Ramaphosa took to Twitter to congratulate Mnangagwa on securing his second five-year term. In a statement, Ramaphosa noted the challenging economic environment and the burden of sanctions on Zimbabwe, acknowledging the difficulties under which the elections were held.
China, a key ally of Zimbabwe, conveyed its congratulatory message through its foreign ministry spokesman, Wang Wenbin. China’s statement emphasized their readiness to elevate the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries. Wang also underscored China’s non-interference in internal processes and encouraged the resolution of electoral disputes through the courts.
Russia, another significant ally of Zimbabwe, published a congratulatory statement on its foreign ministry website. The statement reaffirmed Moscow’s commitment to strengthening its partnership with Zimbabwe and cooperation on various fronts, both regionally and internationally.
The presidential election results, however, remain disputed, with the opposition led by Nelson Chamisa rejecting the outcome. Incumbent leader Mnangagwa was declared the winner with 52.6% of the votes, while Chamisa received 44%.
International observers raised concerns about irregularities, casting doubts on the credibility of the election.
The Southern African Development Commission (SADC) mission and the African Union observer mission noted discrepancies and shortcomings in the election process. These included violations of the Constitution of Zimbabwe and electoral guidelines, along with concerns about biased practices against the opposition.
In response, the United States expressed concerns about bias against the political opposition during the campaign. The State Department spokesperson cited the pressure on election observers and called for accountability and transparency.
Mnangagwa, known by the nickname “crocodile,” dismissed allegations of vote fraud in a news conference. He highlighted the transparency and fairness of the elections, despite their extension due to ballot paper shortages.
As Zimbabwe grapples with its disputed election outcome, international scrutiny and reactions continue to shape the narrative around the legitimacy of the results.