Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Riots shake Zimbabwe capital Harare as election results delayed

Riots shake Zimbabwe capital Harare as election results delayed

European Union observers are due to give their preliminary report on Zimbabwe's election later Wednesday, two days after the vote - the first ballot since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.

Three people were killed in protests in Zimbabwe on Wednesday after the army opened fire in central Harare during demonstrations over alleged fraud in the country's elections.

"You said you were better than Mugabe you are the picture of Mugabe", shouted one young male protester wearing a white T-shirt.

"We must all demonstrate patience and maturity, and act in a way that puts our people and their safety first", he tweeted Wednesday.

The man died after being shot in the stomach, an AFP photographer said, confirming that he died at the scene.

The leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, Nelson Chamisa, said on Twitter he had won the "popular vote" in Monday's election, in which he challenged Mugabe's successor, Emmerson Mnangagwa from the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Mnangagwa, 75, had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power in November when Mugabe was forced to resign.

In a late-night press conference on Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Obert Mpofu said further protests would not be tolerated.

"The opposition. have perhaps interpreted our understanding to be weak, and I think they are testing our resolve and I think they are making a big mistake".

Dark smoke rose near the offices of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission where protesters burned tyres and at least two vehicles.

The riots surged up to the fence of the Rainbow Towers Hotel & and Conference Centre, where the electoral commission has been announcing results and many worldwide election observers are staying. It called for transparency in the release of results. Many in his party had been on the receiving end of the police beatings and...

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.

Provided he also emerges the victor of the presidential race, Mr Mnangagwa will have to take on the onerous task of placing Zimbabwe on an even keel after the corruption and diplomatic isolation that marked the 37 years of the Mugabe regime, while also engaging the opposition to ensure that there is no confrontation that blocks developmental works.

The violence erupted after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission said the ruling ZANU-PF party won a majority in parliament.

The election commission, whose website was hacked overnight, said it would announce the results of the vote "very soon" and denied MDC claims that it had allowed ZANU-PF to rig the vote.

"We are absolutely confident there was no rigging... we at the Zimbabwean Election Commission will not steal (the people's) choice of leaders, we will not subvert their will", ZEC chair Priscilla Chiguma said a day after the vote. We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo).

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

A presidential poll will be held on Saturday, September 8, if a candidate does not secure more than 50 percent of the vote, but it will probably take a couple of days before the results of the presidential election have come in.

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