Trump govt condemn use of deadly military force against Zimbabwe protesters
02 August, 2018, 15:42 | Author: Rachel Logan
In an indication of the growing tension, a crowd of about 100 MDC supporters gathered outside a Harare hotel where election results were being announced but police blocked the entrance to the building, a Reuters witness said.
The general election follows the ousting of long time Zimbabwean leader, Robert Mugabe in November a year ago by the military.
The government blamed the MDC opposition party for inciting the unrest and vowed to enforce a security crackdown.
The opposition claim the results have been rigged in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
The United Nations and former colonial power Britain expressed concern over the violence, and called for "restraint".
Many shops were closed on Thursday morning and the pavements quiet.
The most important thing for us now is to move beyond yesterday's tragic events, and to move forward, together.I am therefore calling for an independent investigation into what occurred in Harare yesterday.
Elsewhere markets were open and queues formed outside banks - a common sight in Zimbabwe due to the country's chronic shortage of banknotes.
Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said late Wednesday that the military will remain in the capital until "this situation is over".
It is a lesson for the opposition that in future they should not lose sight of the bigger prize.
Results so far indicate Zanu-PF won 109 seats, while opposition party MDC claimed just 41, giving incumbent Mnangagwa a term in office.
Opposition supporters clogged the streets of Zimbabwe's capital Wednesday as the country awaited the results of the first leadership election since the end of Robert Mugabe's strongman rule past year.
MDC Alliance's Tendai Biti said there was a clear attempt by Zanu-PF to interfere "with the people's will" and warned the party not to "plunge Zimbabwe into chaos".
The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is by law given up to five days to release the results.
With elections under Mugabe marred by fraud and often deadly violence, his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, promised a free and fair vote and invited global observers.
But the mood quickly descended into anger as MDC supporters rallied in the city, chanting against the government and burning tyres in the streets.
The EU observer mission expressed "serious concerns" as representatives of Western and other groups gave their first assessments of whether the vote was free and fair - crucial for lifting worldwide sanctions on the once-prosperous country. MDC officials also questioned possible discrepancies in the vote count from small, rural constituencies that they say are posting numbers higher than their voting population.
The observers also flagged a misuse of state resources, including food aid, instances of intimidation and bias among traditional leaders and state media, which it said were all used to sway the election in favor of the ruling party. Many in his party had been on the receiving end of the police beatings and...
Under Mugabe, elections were often marred by fraud and deadly violence.
There are 210 seats in the national assembly lower house. The opposition had earlier alleged that its V11 forms shows a win for Nelson Chamisa. "A lot of the protesters I've spoken to say, 'We don't need to see any more".
Mr Mnangagwa called for calm in a post on Twitter while results were collected. Mugabe was later be deposed as leader of ZANU PF and replaced with Emmerson Mnangagwa.
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