World news headlines on Mnangagwa’s post-election terror campaign against Zimbabwean opposition

Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa came to power in November 2017 through a military coup that forced Robert Mugabe to resign after ruling the Southern African nation for 37 years. Photo credit: Wikipedia/(CC BY-SA 4.0)

By Obert Madondo | @Obiemad | Aug. 12, 2018

Zimbabwe’s first post-Robert Mugabe harmonized elections, held Monday, Jul. 30, 2018, were supposed to usher in a new era. Instead, they ended in allegations of vote rigging leveled against the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), a parliamentary majority for the ruling Zanu PF party, a disputed narrow presidential win for President Emmerson Mnangagwa, and bloodshed on the streets of Harare.

On Tuesday, Aug. 1, the military-dominated ZEC announced that Zanu PF had won 155 parliamentary seats. Nelson Chamisa’s opposition MDC Alliance took 53 seats. Then the commission withheld the results of the presidential contest pitting Mnangagwa, Chamisa, and 21 other candidates. Mnangagwa, 75, grabbed power last November through a military coup that toppled Mugabe after 37 years of bloodstained rule.

Election observers from the African Union and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) bloc endorsed the elections as “free” and “fair”. Hours after the endorsement, the Zimbabwe Defense Forces gunned down at least six people during an opposition protest against ZEC’s suspicious delay of the release of the results of the presidential contest. The state-sponsored terror caught the world media’s attention.

Below are a few of the Zimbabwe state terror news headlines on Aug. 2, 2018:

Observers condemn army violence as Zimbabwe awaits election resultReuters

Zimbabwe Police Storm Opposition MDC Offices, Detain 16 People: Reuters WitnessUS News

Here’s How Zimbabwe’s Post-Election Unrest Turned DeadlyTime Magazine

Crackdown In Harare Sparks Fears Of Return To ‘Old Zimbabwe’NPR

Zimbabwe: from Mugabe’s ouster to a bloody electionDaily Nation

ZEC announced the results of the president voted in the early hours of Friday, Aug. 3, 2018. According to the results, Mnangagwa won the presidential election with 50.08% of the vote, narrowly avoiding a runoff against Chamisa, who won 44.3% of the vote. Chamisa has rejected Mnangagwa’s victory. He’s expected to challenge the results of the presidential election in the Constitutional Court.

After the announcement of the results of the presidential vote, the military and Zanu PF activists engaged in what appears to be a terror campaign aimed at permanently silencing the opposition. Soldiers reportedly raided Harare’s high-density areas, which overwhelmingly voted for Chamisa. The crackdown forced dozens of opposition leaders, polling agents and supporters into hiding across the country. Numerous media outlets around the world reported on Mnangagwa’s strange post-election campaign of terror.

Below are Zimbabwe state terror news headlines on Aug.3, 2018, the day of the announcement of the disputed results of the 2018 president election:

Army violence dashes Zimbabwe’s plans to re-engage with westFinancial Times

A tarnished victory for Emmerson Mnangagwa in ZimbabweThe Economist

Zimbabwe was united. This election has divided us againThe Guardian (UK)

State gags shooting victim’s familyNewsDay

Zimbabwe elections: Aggressive raid on Chamisa’s press conference raises bad memories of the country’s pastIndependent (UK)

The Tragedy of ZimbabweWall Street Journal

Zimbabwe’s hopes for new start after Mugabe dashedThe Guardian

A false new dawn for ZimbabweNews24.com

On Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, the Guardian (UK) reported, “Soldiers moved through suburbs of Harare, the capital, and satellite cities on Friday night and early on Saturday morning, beating supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), firing weapons outside the homes of its MPs and sealing off the homes of leaders’ families.” Below are a few Zimbabwe state terror news headlines on Aug. 4, 2018:

Mnangagwa talks of unity as opposition hides from armyThe Guardian (UK)

‘Shot like a dog’: Zimbabwe buries its post-election deadDaily Mail

It will be hard for democratic countries to embrace Mnangagwa as someone different to MugabeThe Telegraph

Zimbabwe election: Woman says she was beaten by soldiers in HarareBBC

As Zimbabwe’s leader preaches a new era, military a concernFox News

American Senator Says Use of Military to Suppress Zimbabwe Protesters Echoes Dreadful PastVOA Zimbabwe

Below are a few Zimbabwe state terror news headlines on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, nearly two days after the announcement of the result of the 2018 president election:

Soldiers go berserk in HarareThe Standard

Zimbabwe intensifies crackdown on oppositionFinancial Times

Zimbabwe elections: Opposition accuses security forces of violence as dispute about election result rumbles onIndependent (UK)

Tense atmosphere ensues in Harare CBDNewsDay

Relatives claim plot to cover up army killingsThe Standard

Zimbabwe opposition face wave of detentions, beatings after election loss – The Guardian (UK)

ZDF disowns rogue soldiersDaily News

Who ordered the deadly military crackdown? Was it really necessary for the military to respond to the post-election protest with war tanks, helicopters, and live ammunition? Ordinary people who had nothing to do with the protest, including a woman shot in the back, were murdered in cold-blood.

Some foreign figures sought to exonerate Mnangagwa, the commander of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces while blaming vice president Constantino Chiwenga, the former general who led the coup against Mugabe. British Labour MP Kate Hoey even suggested that governments of the European Union, U.K. and Unites States should not change their policies on post-Mugabe Zimbabwe “until at the very minimum Chiwenga is removed from his vice presidency and his control of the military”. Below are a few Zimbabwe state terror news headlines on Monday, Aug. 6, 2018:

Zimbabwe: Crackdown Against Opposition Activists Continues After ElectionsDemocracy Now!

Zimbabwe’s Dubious ElectionThe New York Times

On Tuesday, Aug 7, 2018, Canadian, U.S., and European Union ambassadors in Zimbabwe condemned the Mnangagwa government’s “serious human rights violations”. Below are a few Zimbabwe state terror news headlines on Aug. 7, 2018:

Zimbabwe’s Treatment of Election Protesters Condemned by DiplomatsWall Street Journal

Zimbabwean soldiers beating up opposition, rights group saysWaco Tribune-Herald

Within days, the Zimbabwe police had arrested dozens of MDC politicians and activists on charges of inciting public violence during the Aug. 1 protests. Those arrested include Tendai Biti, an MDC Alliance principal and respected former Zimbabwe finance minister. Below are a few Zimbabwe state terror news headlines on Wed, Aug. 8, 2018:

Breaking: Tendai Biti arrested at border while trying to flee ZimbabweNewsDay

Senior Zimbabwe opposition leader Biti detained at Zambian borderReuters

Zimbabwe “arrests MDC’s Tendai Biti at Zambia border”BBC

Zimbabwe activists go into hiding as security crackdown intensifiesThe Guardian (UK)

Zimbabwean opposition official Biti deported from ZambiaABC News

27 MDC Alliance ‘protesters’ granted bailNewsDay

UK accused of watering down army’s role in Zimbabwe riotsThe Times

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zimbabwe Is Old Wine in a New BottleForeign Policy

Below are a few Zimbabwe state terror news headlines on Thur, Aug. 9, 2018:

Zimbabwe opposition figure charged after forced returnThe Guardian (UK)

Zambia deports MDC Alliance’s Biti to Zimbabwe, defying court orderNewsDay

United States Gravely Concerned by Detentions, Human Rights Abuses in ZimbabweVOA Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe opposition’s democratic hopes dashed as ruling party returns to Mugabe mode after disputed electionThe Intercept

Violent Attacks on Zimbabwean Opposition Members, Efforts to Muzzle Journalists, Demonstrate Ruthless Campaign to Silence DissentPEN America

After grabbing power through a military coup, President-elect Mnangagwa and his military benefactors hoped to gain legitimacy through the ballot. They almost got it through the 2018 election.

The brutality unleashed on opposition supporters in the past few days make it crystal-clear that Mnangagwa is determined  to consolidated his power through state-sponsored terror and the barrel of the gun. After all, this is the same Mnangagwa who used “to bide his time before suddenly crunching Mr Mugabe’s enemies“.

Obert Madondo is an Ottawa-based blogger, photographer, digital rights enthusiast, former political aide, and former international development administrator. He’s the founder and editor of these blogs: The Canadian ProgressiveZimbabwean Progressive, and Charity Files. Follow him on Twitter: @Obiemad

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