Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

No definite time yet for presidential results

No definite time yet for presidential results

As Zimbabweans waited on tenterhooks to learn the victor of the country's presidential election, a deadly crackdown on opposition protesters in the capital spurred fears of a return to the days of authoritarian rule under Robert Mugabe.

Troops backed by armoured vehicles opened fire on Wednesday to clear the capital's streets of demonstrators who accused Mnangagwa's ruling party of trying to rig Monday's presidential election.

Demonstrators took to the streets, angry that the victor of Monday's vote still hadn't been announced and convinced that the vote has been rigged to benefit incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

Biti said the omission left room for the electoral commission, which ZESN and the opposition have accused of bias, to manipulate the results in favour of Mnangagwa and Zanu-PF.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa appealed for calm as Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa took to Twitter claiming to have won the popular vote.

Zimbabwe's electoral commission had said it would start announcing results for the presidential race from 10.30 GMT on Wednesday but that was then pushed back at least 24 hours. His supporters gathered at their party's headquarters in the capital during the afternoon to celebrate victory despite the lack of official results.

Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba said the three people killed were yet to be identified.

A credible vote is crucial to the lifting of worldwide sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe so that its collapsed economy can recover.

The government says the army was deployed in central Harare to help police restore order.

Emmerson Mnangagwa
GETTY ON COURSE FOR VICTORY Zanu-PF has won 109 seats in parliament results show

Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa said he seeks to "peacefully" end election crisis while his government vowed to enforce a security crackdown to prevent further unrest in Harare.

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"We call on the political leaders and the population as a whole to exercise restraint and reject any form of violence while awaiting resolution of the disputes and announcement of the election results", Haq said.

The electoral roll has always been a contentious feature of Zimbabwean elections, allegedly the rotten core of systematic rigging under Mugabe.

A woman sweeps the street outside the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 2, 2018.

Zimbabwe's minister of justice, Ziyambi Ziyambi, has promised to restore "peace and tranquillity" in Harare but acrimony and distrust has only increased.

The commission, which must announce the presidential results by Saturday, has said the vote was free and fair.

Monday's polls had been meant to turn the page on years of violence-marred elections and brutal repression of dissent after Mugabe's 37-year rule was ended by a brief military takeover in November.

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

Former Ghanaian president John Mahama, who chairs the group, said: "We categorically denounce the excessive use of force against unarmed civilians". At one point, the relatives blocked hospital staff from wheeling the body to the mortuary and demanded a police explanation; a plainclothes officer said they could return Thursday to pick up the body after a police investigation.

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