Mnangagwa proclaims election day that many say will be ‘defining moment’ in Zimbabwe’s history


Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has officially proclaimed August 23, 2023 as the date for Zimbabwe’s next general elections. The presidential, parliamentary and local elections will be held on that day.

President Mnangagwa set June 21 as the date for the nomination court to meet. Candidates interested in contesting the presidential election will file their nomination papers at the High Court building in Harare on that date.

If a runoff election is needed for the presidency, it will be held on October 2. This would occur if no presidential candidate wins more than 50% of the vote in the first round.

The proclamation, titled Proclamation 4 of 2023, was made in accordance with Zimbabwe’s electoral laws which require the president to fix election dates and establish key timelines.

Mnangagwa, elected president in 2018, will be seeking a second term in office. His election followed a military coup that deposed Robert Mugabe in 2017.

The 80-year-old’s main rival is lawyer and pastor Nelson Chamisa, 45, who leads the newly formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).

The election proclamation comes amid parliamentary debates over electoral reforms.

Chamisa’s party is demanding access to and an audit of the voters’ roll, as well as public media access which it says will help level the playing field ahead of the polls.

Political commentators say failure to implement electoral reforms may set Zimbabwe up for another disputed election.

Zimbabwe’s economy is yet to recover from decades of decline and bouts of financial chaos under the leadership of Mugabe, with the opposition blaming the government for growing corruption and economic mismanagement.

Mnangagwa has said his ZANU-PF government has done well to re-engage with western countries, and blames western sanctions for the country’s economic woes and failure to service a burgeoning debt.

The opposition CCC has said it will restore the rule of law and unlock foreign funding if voted into power.

— MyZimbabwe/Reuters

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