Zimbabwean leader appeals for calm after election violence

02 August, 2018, 15:23 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Zimbabwe election results Could the opposition party win

"We categorically denounce the excessive use of force against unarmed civilians", former Ghanaian president John Mahama said in a statement on behalf of the Commonwealth.

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party has won the majority of seats in parliament after sweeping rural constituencies by huge margins, official results show.

Zimbabwe police on Wednesday fired water cannon and teargas at opposition supporters in Harare, an AFP correspondent witnessed, as tensions erupted over alleged fraud in the election.

A government crackdown in Zimbabwe after Monday's elections has prompted global calls for restraint.

The country's Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said the government "will not tolerate" the protests.

"I was making a peaceful protest".

Scores of his supporters who had been burning tyres in the streets attacked riot police near the electoral commission headquarters.

Several hundred MDC supporters crowded around the party's headquarters Wednesday and started marching toward the electoral commission after Mr. Chamisa declared himself the victor.

"A truly level playing field was not achieved", European Union chief observer Elmar Brok said, pointing to the "misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behaviour by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media". It called for transparency in the release of results.

Zimbabwe was once one of Africa's most promising economies but under Mugabe's rule became tainted by corruption, mismanagement and diplomatic isolation.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Zimbabwe's political leaders and people to exercise restraint and reject any form of violence.

Zanu-PF won 109 seats while the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change party won 41 in the 210-seat House of Assembly, with two seats won by smaller parties and 58 seats yet to be declared.

Zimbabwe's President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has promised an inquiry into the death of three opposition protesters who were killed during post-election clashes.

"The strategy is meant to prepare Zim mentally to accept fake presidential results", he said, adding that he had won more votes than Mr. Mnangagwa. 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 commission postponed announcing results of Monday's tightly fought presidential race, pitting Mr Mnangagwa against Mr Chamisa.

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.

Chigumba, a high court judge, has flatly denied allegations of bias and strongly disputed accusations of rigging. Mugabe was later be deposed as leader of ZANU PF and replaced with Emmerson Mnangagwa.

His attempts to position Grace as his successor are widely thought to have driven the military to intervene and put their favoured candidate, Mnangagwa, in power.

But Chamisa, a lawyer and pastor, sought to tap into the youth and urban vote.

Members of the military gesture to the photographer as they patrol the streets of the capital Harare, Zimbabwe, August 2, 2018.

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