Zimbabweans in Cape Town react to election results

Zimbabwe's president Emmerson Mnangagwa, at the BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Centre in Gauteng. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
A number of Zimbabweans living in Cape Town have expressed their upset at the outcome of their country’s first general election since the removal of former president Robert Mugabe. 

When the Zimbabwe Electoral Commision announced the results late last night, Emmerson Mnangangwa emerged victorious.

The Movement for Democratic Chance (MDC) Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, who lost out to Mr Mnangangwa, has disputed the results, describing them as fake and calling on the ZEC to release “proper and verified results endorsed by parties.”

When we spoke to Zimbabwean nationals living in Cape Town to get their views, most didn’t want to speak as they said they were still trying to process everything.

A vendor, who works at on Greenmarket Square, said she couldn’t speak as she was heartbroken following the death of her relative in Harare earlier this week.

He was among those who lost their lives after the army was deployed on Harare streets during a protest which was staged by MDC supporters who were demanding the release of the results.

Freddie Nouje, 36, who lives in the CBD, believes the elections were not free and fair. 
“The elections were not free and fair. I support [Nelson] Chamisa because he’s the only person that can bring change to our lives. For 36 years we were under Mugabe. Now, the same people, who worked with him are going to continue, I don’t think they can bring change to our lives.”

A 42-year-old who only identified himself as Mujokoro, agreed: “I’m not really happy about the elections because when you speak of free and fair elections you must allow the people who are in the diaspora to vote as well. Each and every Zimbabwean wherever they are is supposed to be given the right to vote which did not happen in these elections. The figures that came out do not really correspond with the voters that were registered. It doesn’t really add up. You can’t say the elections were fair when people died. People were killed for exercising their rights.”

Cosmo Manjengwa, 39, who lives in Gugulethu shared similar concerns.

“The elections weren’t fair. Why did they announce the results at night? I’m so disappointed because the elections weren’t free and fair. The majority of the people in Zimbabwe live in town and yet a large number of voters came from the rural areas.”

Valerie Nkomo, 41, who stays in Milnerton says she wanted MDC to win.

“I’m a bit disappointed at the results because we thought there was a new government coming. We saw [Nelson] Chamisa as a young and educated man who would bring us a better future. Now, we feel bad because it feels like we are going back to the old systems again and all the suffering. I’m kind of disappointed.”

Confidence Nkomo, 45, who stays in Gugulethu added: “We feel very bad about the results because the party we were supporting didn’t win. I was supporting the MDC. I’m disappointed it didn’t win. The elections were not fair.”