Zimbabwe has finally confirmed the date for its upcoming general elections, putting an end to months of speculation.
According to the government gazette released on Wednesday, May 31, 2023, the nationwide elections will be held on August 23.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa, as stated in the government’s official record seen by AFP, has fixed the 23rd day of August 2023 as the date for the presidential election. Alongside the presidential race, elections for the National Assembly and local government positions will also take place on the same day.
The ruling party, ZANU-PF, which has held power since the country gained independence in 1980, will face a challenge from the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa, a 45-year-old lawyer and pastor.
This will be Chamisa’s second time running against President Mnangagwa.
Chamisa, on Tuesday, urged Mnangagwa to set a definite date for the elections, following a period of uncertainty and wavering decisions.
The CCC has also raised concerns regarding the electoral roll, claiming that numerous voters, including senior politicians, have either been removed or misplaced on the register.
Zimbabwe, a landlocked country surrounded by Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia, has an estimated population of 15 million, according to the latest census.
Since taking over from long-time ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017 through a military-led coup, Mnangagwa has faced criticism for his perceived authoritarianism and dissatisfaction over the state of the economy.
The nation has been grappling with severe challenges such as escalating poverty, frequent power cuts, and crippling hyperinflation for years. In the 2018 elections, Mnangagwa, known as “the Crocodile” for his political shrewdness, narrowly secured victory with 50.8 percent of the vote.
However, Chamisa denounced the result as fraudulent and disputed its legitimacy.