ED Mnangagwa faces Chamisa in high-stakes election amid economic crisis…As Mwonzora breathes fire

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President Mnangagwa has officially proclaimed August 23 for Zimbabwe’s next elections, setting the stage for a highly contested vote as the country grapples with a severe economic downturn.

Critics accuse Mnangagwa’s ruling Zanu PF party of trying to cling to power despite runaway inflation, a plummeting currency that’s lost 60% of its value this month alone, and widespread unhappiness with living standards.

Mnangagwa’s main rival, Nelson Chamisa of the CCC opposition party, came close to winning in 2018 but lost in a disputed result that had to be settled in court. Chamisa says his party is ready to win this time around, pointing to over 2 million new voters registered.

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But key reforms have stalled in parliament, and opposition parties are divided on whether to participate at all. Some say the electoral environment remains deeply flawed and unfair.

The MDC party says proclaiming election dates before reforms pass shows “disrespect for the law”. The court challenge over the voters’ roll is still pending.

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The CCC says they will continue pushing for reforms, including an electronic voters roll and security for voters. But it’s unclear if enough will be done before the August vote.

The proclamation comes as Zimbabwe’s struggles worsen. The local currency has crashed further this month and long lines have formed at banks amid cash shortages. Workers are increasingly angered by eroding wages.

The big questions now are: will Zimbabwe finally get the democratic breakthrough and reforms so many want, or will more of the same lead to further frustration?


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