Malawian President Peter Mutharika has congratulated his Zimbabwean counterpart Emmerson Mnangagwa on his election as President following elections which were held last Monday.
“Through the elections, Zimbabweans have demonstrated their will to entrench demorcay and good governance in Zimbabwe and in the region,” said Mutharika in a statement issued by his spokesman Mgeme Kalilani on Saturday.
Zimbabwe’s electoral commission declared Mnangagwa the winner with 50.8 percent of the vote — avoiding a run-off by the narrowest of margins.
Nelson Chamisa of the opposition MDC party got 44.3 percent of the vote, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) said.
In his statement made available to Nyasa Times, Mutharika said in giving governance manadate to President Mnangagwa, “the people of Zimbabwe have shown that they have confidence in the maturity and experience of His Excellency President [Emmerson] Mnangagwa to lead them towards achieveing greater economic prosperity for all Zimbabweans.”
Known as “the crocodile” for his political cunning and longevity, the 75-year-old has tried to rebrand the ruling Zanu-PF party, pledging to heal divisions and rebuild the country.
President Mutharika stated that Malawi is therefore “proud” to have a democratic Zimbabwe and President Mnangagwa as allies in the region as key members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
“The government and the people of Malawi look forward to further strengthening the ties between the two countries as President Mnangagwa assumes his term of office,” Mutharika said in the statement.
Mnangagwa said after being declared winner of the close presidential racethat he was “humbled” to have won, hailing it as a “new beginning” after the ousting of autocrat Robert Mugabe.
“Thank you Zimbabwe! I am humbled to be elected President of the Second Republic of Zimbabwe,” he said in a Twitter message.
“Though we may have been divided at the polls, we are united in our dreams. This is a new beginning,” the message added.
“Let us join hands, in peace, unity & love, & together build a new Zimbabwe for all!”
Meanwhile, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa has said his party would challenge the results of the presidential election, labeling them “fraudulent and illegal.”
Chamisa, who at 40 is the country’s youngest presidential candidate, said his party was working “around the clock with a legal team” to put together a plan of action following the results, but he did not give any details.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the current SADC chairperson, called on all parties to accept the election results and “follow legal remedies provided for in the constitution and electoral law.”
On Wednesday, six people died following clashes between security forces and protesters in the capital as opposition supporters alleged vote rigging following the release of partial parliamentary election results.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :