Mnangagwa says he is in talks with Chamisa to defuse tension

Posted August 02, 2018

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.

Presidential election results are not yet out.

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.

According to partial results released on Wednesday by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC), the ruling party Zanu-PF is leading having won majority of the seats in parliament.

The MDC did not immediately respond to the parliamentary figures but its presidential contender Nelson Chamisa, 40, said the presidential results were being faked.

Automatic gunfire has also been heard and an army helicopter has been spotted in the skies.

Meanwhile, officials from the electoral commission were read the results from the parliamentary contest in a stuffy meeting room in the Rainbow Hotel.

Inevitably, perhaps, the riot police then the army arrived and they gradually retook the city centre by force.

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Monday's upbeat spectacle of millions of Zimbabweans voting peacefully was eclipsed 48 hours later by scenes of tanks and other military vehicles speeding through debris-strewn streets and soldiers beating protesters who had blocked main roads and set bonfires.

A man, who was bleeding from the mouth after being hit, said: "I was beaten by the soldiers, okay".

"This is our government".

The crowds chanted: "We want Chamisa".

But the opposition says Zanu-PF rigged the election. "We condemn in the strongest sense the action taken today", MDC spokesman Nkululeko Sibanda told reporters. Why are the army here beating us?

"We are deeply hurt and feel vulnerable in our own country". We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo).

Mangwana said: "We are very happy with the results".

"The idea that protesters are violent is a false narrative that can not be justified".

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His opponent Chamisa, however, was not prepared to wait on the release of official results, which he has already derided as fake. We've more votes than ED (Emmerson Dambudzo).

"What they have done is intimidate people in the rural areas saying, "we will kill you if you vote MDC" and so on and then the global observers say this election was free and fair". Priscilla Chigumba, who chairs the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, said on Tuesday it was moving more slowly than expected.

The EU's assessment is critical in determining whether Zimbabwe can shed its pariah status as it could help attract investors and trigger an economic revival.

The electoral commission has warned that results of the presidential first round may not be known until Friday or even Saturday and would not be released until tallies were received from all 10,985 polling stations.

The results of the race are expected on Saturday and the European Union mission says a more detailed statement on how the election results were handled will be released soon.

Zimbabwe was once one of Africa's most promising economies but descended into corruption, mismanagement and diplomatic isolation in the latter stages of Mugabe's administration.

There was tension at the Opposition party headquarters, as hundreds of supporters gathered outside, claiming that the entire electoral process was marred with irregularities.

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