Violence flares over Zimbabwe poll

Violence flares over Zimbabwe poll

Witnesses said automatic gunfire was heard on the streets while an army helicopter was also seen flying in the skies above Harare.

FT Southern Africa correspondent Joseph Cotterill, who is now in Harare following the aftermath of the Zimbabwe election, has been recording the violent unravelling of the protest on the streets of Harare.

Riot police using water cannon and tear gas arrived to a chaotic scene of burning tyres and an unrelenting crowd.

On Wednesday, the election commission announced that the ruling ZANU-PF had taken majority of the seats in parliament, winning 109 out of 210 seats with 41 going to the opposition MDC and 58 yet to be allocated.

Mnangagwa, Mugabe's former right-hand man, was the clear election front-runner, benefiting from tacit military support and control of state resources.

The final result in the presidential poll is due by 4 August, but could be released sooner.

The outcome will be announced once results from all provinces are received and verified, Priscilla Chigumba, the chair of the electoral commission, told reporters.

Chamisa, 40, said. He also accused the commission of announcing the parliamentary results first to "reverse the people's presidential election victory", and "prepare Zim [Zimbabwe] mentally to accept fake presidential results".

The tension in Harare grew after officials from the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) accused the electoral authorities of stealing their win after a delay in official results.




HARARE, Zimbabwe-The party of former President Robert Mugabe took the majority of seats in Zimbabwe's parliamentary elections, officials said, but European and USA observers expressed reservations about the vote and tensions on the streets of the capital mounted.

European Union observers are expected to give their report on Zimbabwe's presidential election Wednesday as the country waits impatiently for results of the first vote since Robert Mugabe was ousted after 37 years in power.

"They've rigged these elections".

But his backers have leveled claims of rigging and intimidation by the ruling party that took over after Mugabe was ousted in November. Their allegation: The commission has delayed its full official announcement in order to rig the vote for incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his party, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front.

"The longer it lasts that the results of the presidential election is not known, the more lack of credibility it provides", he said.

The electoral commission said it would start announcing results for the presidential race but then pushed it back at least 24 hours. "We won the popular vote (and) will defend it", Chamisa said on Twitter.

More than five million people were registered to vote, and there was a high turnout of 70%.

The opposition party won in most urban centres.

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