Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

At least 3 killed in Zimbabwe post-election violence

The first elections without Robert Mugabe marks an historic moment for the country Image It is the first ballot since Robert Mugabe was ousted
Leonard Rios | 02 August, 2018, 23:09

Pfigu said he was optimistic on election day for the country's first vote without Mugabe, who ruled for almost four decades, on the ballot.

"Zimbabwean authorities had a duty to facilitate this in a peaceful manner, without deploying the army to the streets", he said.

They also questioned delays in releasing the results of the presidential contest in Zimbabwe's first election since Robert Mugabe was forced to resign following a de facto coup in November after almost 40 years in power.

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The MDC Alliance said the ruling Zanu-PF party was attempting to rig the vote to allow President Mnangagwa to win, and the delay in releasing official results was unacceptable.

They also called for improvements in the counting procedure.

Four days later the ruling ZANU-PF party sacks him as leader and expels his wife.

Thursday dawned very differently in Harare, as the military kept the streets clear and shops were ordered shut.

"I wasn't sure whether it's safe to come to work".

The Police's Charity Charamba says the situation in the country, especially here in the capital of Harare, remains tense.

"I was making a peaceful protest".

The MDC said the army had opened fire on Wednesday 'for no apparent reason, ' killing unarmed civilians.

But there was no response from the MDC Alliance leader, who claimed several times on Twitter to have "won the popular vote" but provided no numbers or concrete evidence of fraud by the ruling ZANU-PF party.

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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.

After burning tyres in the streets, scores of his supporters attacked riot police near the Zimbabwe Election Commission (ZEC) headquarters.

ZEC said the final results of the presidential race may not be known until Saturday.

The military deployment was the first time that soldiers had appeared in the streets of the capital since Mugabe's departure in November.

"We are going to have to go to war, go to war against ZANU-PF".

Mnangagwa had promised a free and fair vote after the military ushered him to power with a credible vote meant to end Zimbabwe's global isolation and attract foreign investment to revive the shattered economy.

A credible vote is crucial to the lifting of global sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe so that its collapsed economy can recover.

"It is imperative that the results process is credible and transparent, with a full breakdown by polling station so that confidence in the outcome can be assured", Brok said.

"On many occasions preparation, financing, media and hopefully not in the counting it was advantageous for the ruling party", European Union chief observer Elmar Brok told AFP.

The observers had been invited by the ZANU-PF's leader, President Emmerson Mnangagwa as part of his "guarantee" of a "free, fair and transparent election" and their verdict on the poll was mixed.

Some government supporters have accused opposition leaders of inciting violence by prematurely declaring victory in the presidential election.

But the one thing Zimbabweans want right now more than anything is an answer: who has won the election, officially.

ZEC chairwoman Priscilla Chigumba, a high court judge, has flatly rejected allegations of bias and rigging.

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