Zimbabwe troops open fire on opposition supporters

Glen Norman
August 1, 2018

Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party has won the majority seats in parliament, results from the electoral commission showed on Wednesday, a day after the opposition accused the agency of deliberately delaying results in ZANU-PF's favour.

Mugabe's 37-year rule ruined the country's economy and left it isolated on the worldwide stage, so authorities are hoping that a credible election could herald a new era for the country and bring back foreign investment and prosperity.

The polls were the first since long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe was ousted.

More than five million people were registered to vote - with a high turnout of 70%.

It followed a surprise press conference at which he stunned observers and called for voters to reject ZANU-PF, his former party.

MDC Alliance's Tendai Biti said there was a clear attempt by Zanu-PF to interfere "with the people's will" and warned the party not to "plunge Zimbabwe into chaos".

After vote-rigging allegations in previous elections under Mugabe, Mnangagwa this time allowed European Union observers back into the country for the first time in years.

What's been the reaction on the streets?

MDC Alliance won all the seats announced in Harare and Bulawayo while NPF won in Kwekwe Central with Norton going to Temba Mliswa.

A truckload of policemen and water cannons also drove near the building in an apparent show of force.

When will we know the official victor?

Before the violence, EU Chief Observer Elmar Brok said he did not yet know if the shortcomings would have a material effect on the outcome of the vote, but criticized the electoral commission for being at times "one-sided".

They went on the rampage down Harare's busy streets towards an old Zanu-PF office with large stones, sticks and anything they could grab along the way.

Both Reuters and AFP reported that witnesses had claimed that a man had been killed in clashes with police.

It said the election was largely peaceful in a break from the past but wondered why presidential votes were counted first but were being announced last.

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

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. Though some results in local races have been announced, she said full and official results might not be announced until the weekend.

What are foreign observers saying?

What are election observers saying?

The commission said it would release vote totals "sometime" on Thursday, even though it said most of the results "are here with us".

In one polling station, in Chegutu, outside Harare, wrong voting material was delivered and voters had to wait a little bit longer to vote. "I will not allow my vote to be stolen in plain sight".

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