Zimbabwe will hold its presidential and parliamentary elections on August 23rd, according to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
President Mnangagwa said National Assembly and local government will also be held that day even as the southern African country continues to battle a raging economic crisis.
Elected president in 2018, Mnangagwa will be seeking a second term in office. His election followed a military coup that deposed Robert Mugabe in 2017.
Mnangagwa’s ZANU-PF party, which has been in power since independence in 1980, will face off against the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) led by Nelson Chamisa, a 45-year-old lawyer and pastor. He will be Mnangagwa’s opponent for a second time.
Chamisa called on Mnangagwa to set a date for the poll after prolonged uncertainty and flip-flops.
The CCC also cried foul over the electoral roll, saying many voters, including some senior politicians, had had their names had been removed or misplaced on the register.
Zimbabwe, a country landlocked between Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Zambia, has a population of 15 million, according to the latest census.
Mnangagwa replaced strongman ruler Robert Mugabe in 2017 after a military-led coup but faces widespread criticism of authoritaranism and discontent over the economy.
The country has been plagued for years by deepening poverty, chronic power cuts and crippling hyperinflation.