Mnangagwa, who was elected president in 2018 after a military coup, is seeking a second term in office.
President Emerson Mnangagwa announced Wednesday that presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on August 23 as Zimbabwe battles a severe economic crisis.
Mnangagwa was elected president in 2018 and is seeking a second term in office after ousting President Robert Mugabe in a military coup the year before.
The 80-year-old’s main rival is Nelson Chamisa, 45, a lawyer and pastor who heads the newly formed Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC).
The announcement through the Official Gazette also set a presidential runoff vote to take place on October 2, if necessary.
Apart from the presidential office, the election will also determine the composition of the 300 permanent parliaments and nearly 2,000 local council offices.
The election announcement came amid parliamentary debate over electoral reform.
Chamisa’s party is demanding access and auditing of voter rolls, as well as access to public media, which it says will help level the playing field before voting.
Political commentators say Zimbabwe could again find itself in contested elections if electoral reforms are not implemented.
The country’s economy has yet to recover from decades of decline and bouts of financial turmoil under Mugabe, with rebels accusing the government of growing corruption and economic mismanagement.
Mnangagwa said the ZANU-PF government had succeeded in re-engaging with the West, but blamed the West for Zimbabwe’s economic woes and failure to repay its soaring debt.
The opposition CCC said it would restore the rule of law and unlock foreign money if it came to power through a vote.