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Zimbabwe's president-elect Mnangagwa criticises role of election observers

President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa looks on as he addresses a press conference at State House in Harare on August 27, 2023   -  
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Emmerson Mnangagwa

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa addressed the nation and especially his supporters after he was declared duly elected after an election that has attracted criticism from both the opposition and poll observer groups

Mnangagwa won 52.6 percent of the ballots against 44 percent for the main challenger, Nelson Chamisa, 45, according to official results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission

"There are no winners or losers, but one united people of Zimbabwe. Thus far, we have shamed our detractors who wished to see us divided and in turmoil. We shall forever remain a united, peace-loving and resilient people," Mnangagwa said.

Observer missions from the European Union, Commonwealth and the 16-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) listed a number of concerns, including the banning of opposition rallies, issues with the voters' roll, biased state media coverage and voter intimidation. Mnangagwa on his part criticised the observers on their roles.

"I don't think it is in the mandate of election observers to interrogate institutions of a sovereign government, the judiciary, the legislature and the governance. I believe that their mandate is to observe the transparency, peacefulness and fairness in the conduct of the elections, which, I'm happy to say, nobody questions that," said President Mnangagwa

The Southern African country went to the ballot box to elect the president and legislature on Wednesday and Thursday in polling marred by delays that sparked opposition accusations of rigging and voter suppression.