Mnangagwa says contestants for next month’s elections must accept defeat in a dignified manner

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa, wearing a blazer bearing his campaign promises, speaks to The Wall Street Journal weeks before landmark national elections. Photo: Cynthia R. Matonhodze for The Wall Street Journal

President Emmerson Mnangagwa who seems confident of winning next month’s elections has called on contestants to accept defeat in a dignified manner.

Speaking in Bindura yesterday Mnangagwa said: “Let those who win do so with humility and honour, realising that they carry the nation’s hopes and aspirations. In similar spirit, let those who lose demonstrate discipline and good sportsmanship by accepting defeat.”

Mnangagwa called on political contestants to be peaceful throughout the election period -before, during and after the elections.

Mnangagwa’s biggest challenger Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change Alliance insists he is winning the elections and can only lose if they are rigged.

An Afrobarometer poll put Mnangagwa in the lead though it said his victory would not be an outright win.

Twenty-six prevent of the respondents, however, refused to express their opinions.

Stanley Goreraza,  ex-husband of former First Lady Grace Mugabe, has come up with another theory that Mnangagwa would not have called the elections if he was not 100 percent sure of victory.

“Emmerson Mnangagwa will never go for an election without strong assurances from the Intelligence Services that he is without doubt going to definitively win that election,” Goreraza said.

“They don’t give him a ‘maybe, maybe not’! They give him an affirmative ‘yes’,” he said.

The elections are due on 30 July, 39 days from now.