Riots shake Zimbabwe capital Harare as election results delayed

The Electoral Commission has not yet given any clarity on who might become the country's next president

The Electoral Commission has not yet given any clarity on who might become the country's next president

AT least six people were feared dead last night, while several others sustained gunshot injuries after soldiers and police in Harare used brute force to suppress MDC Alliance activists protesting against alleged electoral theft of their vote by Zanu PF and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec).

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party has won the majority seats in parliament, results from the electoral commission showed on Wednesday, a day after the opposition accused the agency of deliberately delaying results in ZANU-PF's favour.

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) in a press briefing said it was within the legal limits of time (five days) allowed to release presidential results.

ZEC published the first tranche of results today, showing a majority for president Emmerson Mnangagwa's party in the first election since Robert Mugabe was ousted a year ago.

However, many analysts have said they expect a win for Mnangagwa, a Zanu-PF veteran who replaced long-time president Robert Mugabe after he was ousted in a military coup in 2017.

The EU assessment is critical in determining whether Zimbabwe can fix its image and attract the foreign investors needed for an economic revival.

However, Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is set to be re-elected according to the latest polls, said that violence in Harare on Wednesday was meant to disrupt this week's presidential election.

He accused the commission of releasing the parliamentary results first to prepare Zimbabweans for a Mnangagwa victory.

The EU mission says this is a preliminary statement and more is expected on how the election results are handled and announced.

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"The results are biased, trying to give the impression that ZANU has won", said Lawrence Maguranyi, 21, an MDC supporter and university student protesting at the party headquarters.

The results of the presidential election, which is a separate contest pitting Mr Mnangagwa against Mr Chamisa, are yet to be declared, but the parliamentary results bode well for the incumbent. The 40-year-old vibrant leader says they have "won the popular vote".

Biti said, given the results he has seen at polling station thus far, he believes it is not possible for Zanu-PF to win the election.

Dozens of opposition supporters gathered Tuesday evening at their headquarters in the capital, Harare, celebrating in the belief that they had won the presidential election based on results they said they collected from agents in the field.

"You can't rig our election.this is a military government", the crowd shouted.

On Wednesday they announced their findings, noting that while the polls were an improvement on previous ones there had been misuse of state resources and media bias. Its population of 13 million is struggling amid shortages of foreign currency, unemployment above 80 percent and lack of foreign investment.

The party's supporters today went on rampage, protesting against the results of Monday's harmonised elections which saw Zanu PF winning two thirds majority in parliament.

Mr Mnangagwa called for calm in a post on Twitter while results were collected.

The MDC opposition party condemned the army for opening fire on protesters "for no apparent reason".

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