Zimbabwe opposition leader Chamisa says won presidential election

Mr Nelson Chamisa

HARARE (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa said on Thursday that he had won the presidential election, and President Emmerson Mnangagwa knew he had lost otherwise the results would have been announced by now.

In his first public appearance since the vote on Monday Chamisa, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), urged his supporters to be calm and await “massive celebrations” for his victory.

Chamisa said he could not give any figures because he would be breaking the law.

On Thursday, Zanu-PF party urged the opposition to accept an expected defeat graciously but said they would also step aside “in the unlikely event we don’t win.”

Paul Mangwana, Zanu-PF spokesman, used the press conference to slam the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) for violent protests of parliamentary election results on Wednesday that saw the army deployed and three people killed.

The parliamentary results gave a huge win to the ruling party but the result of the presidential election has yet to be announced.

Asked by dpa whether Zanu-PF would heed its own advice and bow out peacefully should opposition presidential candidate Nelson Chamisa win, Mangwana said yes.

“When you control a two-thirds majority of parliament, there’s no way you fail to win the presidential election,” he said – although technically it is possible. “In the unlikely event that we don’t win, we’ll allow Chamisa to take over.”