Observers condemn army violence as Zimbabwe awaits election result

Observers condemn army violence as Zimbabwe awaits election result

Observers condemn army violence as Zimbabwe awaits election result

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission's results showed Mnangagwa's ZANU-PF cruising to a big majority after picking up 109 seats against 41 for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

Tongai Mnangagwa of Zanu PF was declared victor in Harare South and was closely ahead of former Zanu PF Harare Political Commissar who stood as an MDC Alliance candidate, Shadreck Mashayamombe.

The commission said it would announce the results of Zimbabwe's presidential race, pitting President Emmerson Mnangagwa against opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, only after all the votes have come in from across the country.

The parliamentary results strengthened the chances of President Emmerson Mnangagwa holding power, but triggered MDC demonstrations in Harare and fears of clashes between angry opposition supporters and the government.

"It matters little whether this heavy-handed response came on Mnangagwa's orders: evidence that the president lacks the authority to control the security forces will be just as damning in terms of the impact on Zimbabwe's global rehabilitation".

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.

This group has lost all faith in the electoral system and says they will not stop until their man is in the top job - except that's not quite how elections work.

Both the opposition and Western election observers have urged that presidential election results be released as soon as possible. Chamisa tweeted Wednesday morning.

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

The election, which pitched 75-year-old Mnangagwa against 40-year-old opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, was supposed to confirm the legitimacy of the post-Mugabe government and allow Harare to renew ties with the global community. The 40-year-old vibrant leader says they have "won the popular vote".

"The more the presidential vote is delayed, the more it calls into question the population's confidence in the election process", said former Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the lead observer of a USA monitoring mission.

Elmar Brok, head of the European Union observer mission, said there were "many shortcomings" in the election, but it was unclear whether they influenced the results.

He said: "SADC tell me, what you observing, what are you observing?"

The EU mission criticised the delay in announcing the presidential results.

The Commonwealth also urged the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to expedite the announcement of the results of the presidential vote.

The EU mission found an "improved political climate, but (an) unlevel playing field and lack of trust in the process", it said in a statement, two days after Zimbabwe's first ballot since Robert Mugabe was ousted by the military ending his 37-year rule. "Equally, we hold the party and its leadership responsible for any loss of life, injury or damage of property that arise from these acts of political violence which they have aided and abetted", he said.

The most important thing for us now is to move beyond yesterday's tragic events, and to move forward, together.They, alongside the families of the victims, are in my thoughts and prayers at this hard time.

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