Zimbabwe President elect Emmerson Mnangagwa smiles in the garden of The State House in Harare on August 3, 2018, at the end of a press conference. Mnangagwa defended the landmark election in which he was declared victorious, despite claims from the opposition of vote-rigging. / AFP PHOTO / MARCO LONGARI
Agence France-Presse

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa has reportedly told the Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders that he was “elected cleanly” in the recently ended elections.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, Mnangagwa said this during his address to Heads of State and Government at the 38th SADC summit meeting in Windhoek, Namibia.

“All political parties were free to campaign in all parts of the country however they saw fit.

“This saw an unprecedented number of people freely exercising their democratic right to elect leaders of their choice in the spirit of transparency and openness.

“Our elections were held in the full glare of a broader spectrum of international observers and global media,” Mnangagwa was quoted as saying.

Mnangagwa said this as the Constitutional Court was considering an appeal by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party alleging that the election was rigged in favour of him.

The MDC has accused the ruling Zanu-PF and the election commission of ballot fraud in the July 30 vote, Zimbabwe’s first poll since the ousting of Robert Mugabe in November, said an AFP report.

Mnangagwa narrowly won the presidential race with 50.8% of the vote – just enough to avoid a run-off against the MDC’s Nelson Chamisa, who scored 44.3%.

The state-owned Herald newspaper on Saturday quoted Mnangagwa as telling the SADC summit that the elections represented “maturing entrenchment of democratic traditions and values in Zimbabwe”.

Mnangagwa said the focus was now on revamping the economy and uplifting the people’s standard of life.

Mnangagwa said he was humbled by the support Zimbabweans entrusted in him through the ballot.

“I am deeply humbled and honoured by the show of confidence in me and the mandate conferred on my party Zanu-PF,” he was quoted as saying.

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