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HARARE-- Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa hasaccepted the outcome of the country's watershed July 30 general election in which he was declared the winner f the presidential poll, saying the Opposition was free to approach the courts if they disputed the outcome.

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission early Friday declared the incumbent as the winner of the presidential election after he garnered 50.8 per cent of the total votes cast ahead of his closest rival, Nelson Chamisa of the MDC Alliance who won 44.3 percent of the vote.

Chamisa's party immediately dismissed the result as fraudulent, illegal and illegitimate.

The President-elect said the outcome was a reflection of a free, fair and credible election and the opposition was free to challenge the results in court.

With regard to accepting or not accepting the results, Zimbabwe is enjoying democracy, we have introduced comprehensive democracy, the public or any political party can proceed in terms of our Constitution and the Electoral Act to challenge the results in courts, he told a media conference.

While the government had worked hard to deliver a free and fair election, the process had not been without its challenges, he said. Of course we had challenges, no democratic process is flawless, ours was no exception, he said.

He pledged to work for all Zimbabweans, including those who did not vote for him, while calling on Chamisa to join hands with him in uniting the people to move forward following violent clashes that occurred on Wednesday, as opposition supporters protested against the outcome of the results, which at the time were yet to be announced, resulting in the deaths of six people.

To Nelson Chamisa, I say you have a crucial role to play in Zimbabwe's present and its unfolding future, let us both call for peace and unity in our land, that is the role of leaders, that is our joint responsibility as leaders, Mnangagwa said.

With elections concluded, he said it was time to focus energies to building the economy. The time for politics is now behind us, now begins the time for work and progress, he said.

Leaders from countries including China, South Africa and Tanzania have already congratulated Mnangagwa on his victory. In the meantime, the President said he would set up an independent commission, composed of local and foreign nationals, to investigate the deaths of six protestors on Wednesday.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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