Zimbabwe’s elections, the first since former president Robert Mugabe’s ouster in November last year, were meant to relaunch the southern African country on the international stage and attract foreign aid and investment.
But despite initially promising to be free, fair and conflict free, there have been a number of concerning developments.
Here are 5 things you need to know:
1. On July 30, President Emmerson Mnangagwa narrowly returned to power with 50.8% of the vote – just scraping in above the 50% run-off threshold.
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2. On August 1, MDC supporters took to the streets to protest the alleged fraud, triggering a brutal response from the military which opened fire on the demonstrators, leaving six people dead. At least 27 opposition supporters were arrested following the protests but were later freed on bail.
3. Since then, the opposition and civi rights organisations have continued to accuse security forces of abducting, beating and harassing opposition activists and their families – with the latest being the arrest of one of the MDC leaders Tendai Biti at the Zambian border on August 8.
4. Mnangagwa has been making gestures to Chamisa for unity or to play a crucial role in Zimbabwe’s present and its unfolding future
5.The international community has called on Mnangagwa to rein in his security forces and urged Chamisa to turn to the courts – and not the streets – if he challenges Mnangagwa’s victory.