Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

Zimbabwe opposition supporters protest election result

Zimbabwe opposition supporters protest election result

Biti said this omission gave room for the ZEC, which ZESN and the opposition have accused of bias, to manipulate the results in favour of President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the ruling ZANU-PF party.

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party has won the most seats in parliament, according to incomplete official results.

Opposition supporters in the capital, Harare, threw rocks and denounced the government, tearing down a billboard with an image of Mnangagwa and his campaign slogan: "The voice of the people is the voice of God". Police fired tear gas and soldiers toting automatic rifles, on foot and armored vehicles, moved into the area where crowds had assembled and were chasing away protestors.

The violence appeared to dash the hopes of Zimbabweans that the peaceful vote would lift them out of decades of economic and political stagnation under Mugabe, but the country is haunted by a history of electoral violence and manipulation that means trust is scarce.

Truckloads of anti-riot officers were called in to help clear the streets as tensions escalated.

The election was the first since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign after almost 40 years in power.

"I believe that the parliamentary results were released first as a psychological ploy to dampen opposition expectations regarding the presidential vote", Prof.

The commission's results showed President Emmerson Mnangagwa - who took over leading Zanu PF after Mugabe was ousted - won the big majority against 41 seats for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). They believe the election has been stolen, and are demanding the MDC be announced as victor. 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.

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Priscilla Chigumba, a judge who heads the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, said she was confident there had been no "cheating" in the first election without Mugabe on the ballot.

If neither candidate receives an outright majority, there will be a September 8 runoff.

Zimbabwe's election commission said it now expected to start announcing presidential election results from tomorrow because there were allegations of disputes around tallies that were posted outside polling stations.

Mnangagwa was allegedly involved in violence and intimidation during the 2008 elections when then opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the run-off after attacks claimed the lives of at least 200 of his supporters.

Earlier yesterday, the European Union observers criticised the government's use of power during the election. They need a good change.

Zimbabwe's police say they have invoked a strict security act that forbids public gatherings after security forces swept into the capital to disperse hundreds of opposition protesters angry over Monday's election results.

A Zanu-PF spokesman told the BBC he had "no clue" what Mr Biti was talking about.

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