Zimbabwe troops open fire on opposition supporters

Zimbabwe troops open fire on opposition supporters

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's decision to delay announcing the results of the presidential race at least until Thursday - three days after the vote - seemed certain to bring more opposition anger if President Emmerson Mnangagwa is declared the victor.

Zimbabwe soldiers and police were on the streets of Harare Thursday as authorities came under under increasing pressure to release results of the presidential election.

Mr Mnangagwa, whose ruling Zanu PF party yesterday claimed a large majority in disputed parliamentary elections, said he had been in contact with the leader of the opposition MDC Alliance in a bid to defuse tensions.

Chamisa, who had already declared on Twitter, that his party had won the presidential election said the delays in announcing the result, were attempts by the ruling party to manipulate the "people's will".

Tongai Mnangagwa of Zanu PF was declared victor in Harare South and was closely ahead of former Zanu PF Harare Political Commissar who stood as an MDC Alliance candidate, Shadreck Mashayamombe.

The latest results announced by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission showed Zanu-PF had won at least 109 seats, enough for a majority in the 210-seat lower house of parliament.

The ruling ZANU-PF party has won two thirds of the seats and will dominate the assembly - as they have done since the country's independence from Britain in 1980. Three people were killed in the election-related violence.

Zimbabweans desperately hope the peaceful vote, which took place Monday, will lift them out of economic and political stagnation after decades of Mugabe's rule, but the country is haunted by a history of electoral violence and manipulation that means trust is scarce.

Official results strengthened President Emmerson Mnangagwa's prospects of holding on to power in the key presidential vote, showing that ZANU-PF had easily won the most seats in the parliamentary ballot.

Zimbabwe soldiers walk past a broken shop window in Harare on August 2 after election-related protests turned violent and resulted in three deaths.


The presidential results are yet to be announced. Elections under Mugabe's 37-year rule were marked by violence against the opposition and alleged fraud.

The Commonwealth's observer mission said on Thursday Zimbabwe's security services used excessive force to break up protests in Harare over this week's presidential election.

"Let me also warn such individuals and groups that no one is above the law", Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said.

The opposition cries foul, alleging fraud, and European Union observers say the elections were held on an "un-level playing field".

Races in some constituencies were so close that they could have gone to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), had it not been split between Nelson Chinamasa's MDC Alliance and Thokozani Khupe's MDC-T.

Under Mugabe, elections were often marred by fraud and deadly violence.

The military deployment was the first time that soldiers had appeared in the streets of the capital since Mugabe's departure in November.

Agents for all 23 candidates must verify them first, it said.

"The more the presidential vote is delayed, the more it calls into question the population's confidence in the election process", said former Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the lead observer of a US monitoring mission.

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