Zimbabwe. In January, President Emmerson Mnangagwa
announced the July presidential and parliamentary elections.
Mnangagwa, who became party leader in ZANU-PF in November
2017 after Robert Mugabe's resignation and shortly
thereafter became president, promised fair elections and
that he would accept any loss.
In mid-February, the leader of the country's largest
opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC),
Morgan Tsvangirai passed away in cancer. The former union
leader was for several years the one who seriously
challenged Robert Mugabe for power. To Tsvangirai's
successor, the party appointed Nelson Chamisa, minister of
information, communications and technology in the unifying
government formed after the 2009 election. Chamisa was also
launched as the party's candidate in the upcoming
In June, a hand grenade burst at one of ZANU-PF's
meetings. According to
Countryaah.com, President Mnangagwa was present but escaped
unharmed. However, two other people were killed and close to
50 were injured. Mnangagwa pointed out Generation 40 (G40),
that is, followers of Grace Mugabe, who is married to Robert
Mugabe. Those included in the informal group G40 supported
Grace Mugabe in her ambition to succeed her husband as
president, plans that were shattered when the military
forced Mugabe away in favor of Mnangagwa.
In the first round of presidential elections in July,
Emmerson Mnangagwa received 50.8% of the vote, which meant
there was no second round. Chamisa received 44.3%. ZANU-PF
received 145 of the 210 electoral seats in the National
Assembly and 35 of 60 electoral seats in the Senate. The
corresponding figures for MDC were 63 and 24. respectively,
Chamisa and MDC accused the government of electoral fraud.
During the protests that erupted in the capital Harare, the
military shot dead six people. Chamisa appealed against the
election results and, pending the outcome, the ceremony was
canceled when Mnangagwa would temporarily suspend the
presidential election. An unanimous Supreme Court rejected
Chamisa's request that the election be annulled and
Mnangagwa could take up his first term as president.
In October, a great deal of concern among the country's
residents spread over the economic situation. The fear of a
collapse caused people to hoard food and gasoline. The
government called for calm and guaranteed that all necessary
goods, including fuel, would remain available.