What’s Going On: Election Aftermath in Zimbabwe & Gabon, Anti-LGBT Law in Uganda & More
News headlines from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Gabon and Sudan
News headlines from Zimbabwe, Uganda, Gabon and Sudan
“What’s Going On” Tallies Notable News Headlines From Across The Continent — The Good, The Bad, And The Horrible — As A Way Of Ensuring That We All Become A More Sagacious African Generation. With This Column, We’re Hoping To Disseminate The Latest Happenings In Our Socio-Political Climate From Across The Continent, Whilst Starting A Conversation About What’s Important For Us To All Discuss. From Political Affairs To Socio-Economic Issues, ‘What’s Going On’ Will Discuss Just That. This Week’s Headlines Come From Niger, Somalia & Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa has countered the re-election of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, alleging “blatant and gigantic fraud” in the electoral process that declared Mnangagwa’s victory on Saturday.
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced Mnangagwa, 80, won a second term with 52.6 per cent of the ballots against 44 per cent for his main challenger, Nelson Chamisa, 45, of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) party. The announcement, which came after voting had to be extended because of delays in the printing of ballot papers, was made two days earlier than expected.
Fellow Citizens; I know you are anxious. I will give an address soon. Never lose hope. Don’t give up. You did your very best. You sacrificed all. It’s not in vain. They stole your voice and vote but never your hope. It’s a blatant and gigantic fraud. Our God is faithful. There…
— nelson chamisa (@nelsonchamisa) August 27, 2023
Mnangagwa, speaking from the presidential palace, dismissed the allegations. “I did not conduct these elections. I think those who feel the race was not run properly know where to go to complain,” he said at a news conference on Sunday. Although Mnangagwa insists the electoral process was free and fair, international observers have sided with Chamisa. The United States, through its Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller, have condemned “the intimidation and disruption of lawful election observers throughout the electoral period.”
Mnangagwa assumed office in November 2017 following the removal of Robert Mugabe whose 30-year was characterised by political tensions and economic turmoils. Mnangagwa is a member of the political party ZANU–PF and a longtime ally of Mugabe. His main opposition Nelson Chamisa is considered a man of “uncomplicated message, honest ambition and commitment to achieve meaningful change,” as he grew up in Kuwadzana, “a sprawling high-density township in Harare where the widespread effects of ZANU-PF’s socioeconomic failures – especially unemployment, hunger and poverty – are experienced particularly severely.”
Ugandan prosecutors have charged a 20-year-old man with “aggravated homosexuality,” an offence punishable by death under the country’s recently enacted anti-gay law. The law, which is one of the harshest as regards queer people, contains provisions that make “aggravated homosexuality” an offence punishable by death and includes penalties for consensual same-sex relations of up to life in prison.
The suspect “was charged in Soroti [in eastern Uganda] and he is on remand in prison. He will be appearing in court for mention of the case,” said Jacquelyn Okui, spokeswoman for Uganda’s directorate of public prosecutions. According to the charge sheet seen by AFP, the 20-year-old suspect was charged on August 18 and is accused of “unlawful sexual intercourse with… [a] male adult aged 41.”
In May, US President Joe Biden called for the immediate repeal of Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act, which he tagged as “a tragic violation of universal human rights.” But the government has remained defiant with Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni accusing the World Bank of using money to try to “coerce” the government to drop the controversial legislation. The legislation also has the support of the majority of the country’s citizenry who see the measures as a necessary pushback against perceived Western immorality.
Albert Ondo Ossa, President Ali Bongo Ondimba’s main rival in Saturday’s election in Gabon, whose official results are still awaited, has claimed to have won and called on the Head of State to “organise the transfer of power.” Ossa had already denounced “fraud” by the Bongo camp on Saturday, two hours before the polls closed, and asked to be “declared the winner.”
“We call on our compatriots who gravitate around this power that is more devoid of legitimacy than ever, particularly those around Mr Ali Bongo Ondimba” to bow humbly before the will of the Gabonese people,” declared Mike Jocktane, the director of campaign director of Ondo Ossa, during a press conference in Libreville.
The Gabonese Elections Center (CGE) has been in the spotlight after refusing to give any indications on the progress of the counting and on the date and time scheduled for the proclamation of the official results. Ondimba’s government also frayed nerves after it cut off the internet on Saturday evening and put a curfew in place, citing the risk of violence. It accused French media outlets RFI, France 24 and TV5 Monde of “a lack of objectivity and balance … in connection with the current general elections.”
As the battle between the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary group, Rapid Support Forces (RSF) rages, the ongoing conflict has plunged the country into anarchy with many citizens fleeing into neighbouring countries as refugees and others living in Sudan without water and electricity.
The head of Sudan’s military, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, announced on Monday that he fled the capital during a large military operation as the bloody conflict in the Northeast African country enters its fifth month. General Al-Burhan also confirmed that no agreement had been reached with RSF leader Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo to facilitate his departure from the capital.
President Al Burhan’s escape from General Command is a significant win for the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF). He is expected to visit Cairo and Jeddah, and likely other foreign capitals too, and this will benefit SAF politically and diplomatically at the expense of the Rapid Support… pic.twitter.com/Pby5KqMpu9
— خواجة مسكين (@daniel_van0) August 25, 2023
“I confirm that my exit from the General Command took place without any help, and I did not leave with a deal or by arranging any agreement,” he said. “This was a military action carried out by the armed forces, and anyone who says that there is an agreement or that there is a party that helped or that there is a deal is delusional. We do not agree with the traitors or those outside the Sudanese people (traitors referring to Rapid Support Forces and those outside Sudan meaning Americans).”
The violence in the northeast African country is estimated to have killed at least 5,000 people, according to the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a disaggregated data collection, analysis, and crisis mapping project.
Featured image credits/ABC News