Three people dead in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital after the deployed army troop opened firing on revolting opposition supporters. The army was deployed to assist police in restoring peace and order in central Harare.
Condemning the crackdown, the opposite party, MDC Alliance reported the incident as “a reminder of the dark days of Robert Mugabe’s rule.” It further alleges Zanu-PF (governing party) of rigging Monday’s elections.
The MDC Alliance claimed that Nelson Chamisa, their presidential candidate won Monday’s election. However, the results have not been declared yet. The EU monitors have put across their worries regarding the time it is taking to announce the time it is taking to declare the presidential result.
State broadcaster ZBC quoted President Emmerson Mnangagwa saying, “We hold the opposition MDC Alliance and its whole leadership responsible for this disturbance of the national peace, which was meant to disrupt the electoral process.”
Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi declared that the army was positioned in Harare to restore tranquility and peace, to ensure that law and order are maintained, not to intimidate people.
According to the contributors, as Harare is the stronghold of the opposition party, the violence was confined to the center of Harare. Whereas, the other parts of the country remained calm. After the wait for the election results took an ugly turn, police trucks and army vehicles were forced to roll into the city on Wednesday.
Since the morning MDC Alliance supporters started gathering in various parts of Harare, but when the news of Zanu-PF winning most seats in the parliament reached them, the previously bubbly mood transitioned into a negative mood.
The opposition supporters went on rampaging the eventful streets of Harare, marching towards old Zanu-PF office chanting “We want Chamisa”, and carrying sticks, large stones, or anything they could lay their hands on.
They accused the election of being infiltrated and demanded that MDC be declared as the winner. The vigilantes were welcomed with jeering and pelting stones at the frenzied scene of an unrelenting crowd in hundreds and burning tyres.
The army arrived with tear gas and water cannons at the scene. At the parts of the city where more protestors had assembled, the troops used whips to disband them.
In all, there were 210 seats in the lower house of the National Assembly, out of which the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) had announced 140 seats for the Zanu-PF, and 58 for the MDC Alliance so far.
There was a high turnout of 70% with more than 5 million people registering to vote. The presidential reports were supposed to be announced by 12:30 local time (10:30 GMT) on Wednesday, but only parliamentary results were declared.
To win out rightly, the candidate requires more than 50% or else a run-off election will be conducted on 8 September. It said it had observed several problems, including media bias, voter intimidation and mistrust in the electoral commission, adding that there was an “improved political climate, but un-level playing field and lack of trust”.
In the last 16 years, it is the first time that the government had permitted the U.S. election monitors and EU to intervene in the country. However, the preliminary reports by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and The African Union Mission said that the elections were largely peaceful and conducted in accordance with the law.
Furthermore, it added that it could not verify the accusation of bias by traditional leaders, complaints of vote-buying, and intimidation by the state.