Zimbabwe election rocked by claims of Chamisa ‘assassination plot’

Zimbabwe election rocked by claims of Chamisa ‘assassination plot’

As the tension between police and protesters ramped up on Wednesday, the authorities deployed the military to the streets, who used live rounds to quell the unrest.

At least three people died in the chaos as the military was dispersed to the area.

The activists are denouncing violent protests but calling the government's reaction illegal and "grossly disproportionate to the violence that it sought to contain".

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is yet to make a statement but the president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, in a series of tweets, said he is talking to the opposition and has called for an independent investigation.

Zanu PF has won a big chunk of parliamentary seats in the results announced so far.

Speaking in Harare this evening, President Mnangagwa said the hooliganism and violence came as a surprise, adding that the opposition party leadership is to blame.

A preliminary report by the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) observers said the elections were largely peaceful and conducted in accordance with the law.

The security forces opened fire with guns, water cannons and tear gas, and protesters burned cars and threw rocks as helicopters hovered above Harare.

Unarmed protestors in support of the MDC burned tyres and pulled down street signs as they rallied against the long-standing ruling party.

Very few public transport vehicles were seen on the street of the capital city of more than one million people.




The result of the presidential vote is not yet known.

The government warns candidates they face prosecution and jail for prematurely announcing results. "Shooting us? This is not an election it is a disgrace on our country".

European Union observers said "a truly level playing field was not achieved" in the election, pointing out the "misuse of state resources, instances of coercion and intimidation, partisan behavior by traditional leaders and overt bias in state media".

On Tuesday former MDC finance minister Tendai Biti and ZESN, the main domestic election monitor, said one in five polling stations - more than 2,000 in all - had not physically posted tallies on their doors, as required by law.

Zimbabwe's ruling party has won a majority of seats in Parliament, the electoral commission announced Wednesday, as the country braced for the first official results of the presidential election.

Worldwide observer missions from around the world released preliminary statements on Wednesday that largely withheld judgment on the allegations of rigging and other irregularities, though most at least noted that the media had been polarized and biased in the lead-up to the election.

With three seats yet to be declared, Mnangagwa's ruling ZANU-PF party had 144 seats compared to 61 for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), meaning the ruling party achieved a two-thirds majority which would allow it to change the constitution at will.

What will happen in the presidential vote?

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

Both sides fielded candidates in the polls and lost Bulawayo South and Nkayi South constituencies to Zanu PF's Raj Mod and Stars Mathe, respectively. We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo).

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