Mnangagwa blames MDC Alliance leaders for Harare violence

Hannah Rogers
August 1, 2018

The candidate for Zimbabwe's main opposition party accused the ruling ZANU-PF of trying to steal a presidential and parliamentary election on Wednesday after official figures gave President Emmerson Mnangagwa's party a majority in parliament.

MDC supporters are blaming the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission for delaying the announcement of the presidential results and declaring their leader‚ Nelson Chamisa‚ as the victor.

One person was shot dead by Zimbabwean soldiers in the capital city Harare on Wednesday after troops were deployed to quell protests over this week's presidential election, witnesses told a Reuters photographer. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse protesters who had blocked the entrance to the building.

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.

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

Mnangagwa, a former deputy president who fell out with Mugabe and then took over from him, urged people to wait for official results.

The commission had earlier warned that the results of the presidential first round may not be known until Friday or even Saturday and would not be released until tallies were received from all 10,985 polling stations. We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo).

The ruling ZANU-PF party won a majority of seats in Parliament, the electoral commission said.

"You can't rig our election...this is a military government", the crowd shouted. "We won the popular vote (and) will defend it", Chamisa said on Twitter.

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Zimbabwe holds parliamentary and presidential elections separately, with the electoral commission saying the outcome of the latter will be released "sometime tomorrow".

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

"We will not subvert [the people's will]", she said at a press conference, rejecting allegations that there was rigging.

There is a growing level of anxiety in the country as many were hopeful that MDC Alliance Presidential candidate would win the contest.

This is the first time in 16 years that the government has allowed European Union and United States election monitors into the country.

A supporter of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC) of Nelson Chamisa wears a cone as they block a street in Harare, Zimbabwe, August 1, 2018.

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.

"There is no way that ZANU-PF will accept an MDC victory".

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