Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Soldiers patrol Zimbabwe capital after election violence

Soldiers patrol Zimbabwe capital after election violence

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. At least three people were killed.

He said he did not understand why the election commission was taking so long to release results and that it would lose credibility with further delays.

The opposition MDC-Alliance is preparing an urgent court application to force the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) to release results from Monday's national ballot polls.

By the end of the day, three people were dead, several injured, and visible blood pools stained the Capital's street, marking the end of a very bad day.

FILE PHOTO: Supporters of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC) of Nelson Chamisa, sing and dance in the street outside the party's headquarters following general elections in Harare, Zimbabwe, July 31, 2018.

Even before the violence, European Union observers questioned the conduct of the presidential and parliamentary vote, the first since Mr Mugabe's forced resignation after almost 40 years in charge of the southern African nation.

Gunfire crackled as troops, backed by armoured vehicles and a military helicopter and some with their faces masked, cleared the streets of opposition protesters.

Mnangagwa's government, meanwhile, accused Chamisa and his supporters of inciting "violence" by already declaring he had won the election, the first after former leader Robert Mugabe stepped down in November. Security forces also used tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators.

Police block dozens of opposition party supporters from entering the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission offices in Harare, Zimbabwe, Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018.

Experts say both the ruling party and the opposition are responsible for the violence that erupted on the streets of Harare on Wednesday.

Wednesday's violence, which followed a relatively orderly election, dashes Mnangagwa's hopes of repairing the image of a country that had become synonymous with corruption and economic collapse under Mugabe.

DeVry University Professor of Business Administration, Elliot Masocha, said Mnangagwa was right to call out the MDC Alliance and its supporters, which he said gave Mnangagwa and his government no choice but respond as it did.

"As we speak, it has been discovered that ZEC did not post V11 forms at 21% of the polling stations, and we are gravely concerned by their failure to do so", he said.

The observer missions said the country needed to strengthen its legal framework to incorporate outstanding election law to the new constitution.

"Today we saw the deployment of military tanks and firing of live ammunition on civilians for no apparent reason", he said.

A presidential candidate needs more than 50% of the vote to win outright.

A spokesman for Mr Chamisa said he was not at liberty to confirm or deny whether such talks had taken place.

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

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