Zimbabwean presidential election, 1996

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Zimbabwean presidential election, 1996
← 1990 16–17 March 1996 2002 →
  Robert Mugabe cropped.jpg Muzorewa 1978 b.jpg
Candidate Robert Mugabe Abel Muzorewa
Party ZANU-PF United Parties
Popular vote 1,404,501 72,600
Percentage 92.76% 4.8%

President before election

Robert Mugabe

Elected President

Robert Mugabe

Presidential elections was held in Zimbabwe on 16 and 17 March 1996. The elections were contested by the incumbent President Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe Rhodesia-era Prime Minister Abel Muzorewa, and ZANU-Ndonga leader Ndabaningi Sithole. Mugabe won, claiming over 90% of the vote, though turnout was just 32.3%, largely as a result of Sithole and Muzorewa withdrawing their candidacies shortly before the election (though their names remained on the ballot).

Sithole (who was under virtual house arrest due to charges of attempting to assassinate Mugabe) withdrew after claiming that Mugabe's ZANU-PF was undermining his campaign, whilst Muzorewa pulled out after the Supreme Court turned down his bid to postpone the elections on the basis that the electoral rules were unfair (as state funds were only available to parties with 15 or more seats in parliament).[1] In December 1997 Sithole was convicted of conspiring to assassinate Mugabe; he appealed but died whilst out on bail.

There were 4,822,289 voters registered for the election.


Candidate Party Votes %
Robert Mugabe ZANU-PF 1,404,501 92.76
Abel Muzorewa United Parties 72,600 4.80
Ndabaningi Sithole ZANU-Ndonga 36,960 2.44
Invalid/blank votes 43,497
Total 1,557,558 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,822,289 32.30
Source: African Elections database