Riots shake Zimbabwe capital Harare as election results delayed

Charlene Craig
August 2, 2018

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

John Dramani Mahama, former president of Ghana, urges all sides to exercise restraint a day after election-related violence killed three people in Harare, the capital.

Alternatively, many Zimbabweans wonder whether the ruling establishment, including the military, would accept a win for the main opposition leader, Nelson Chamisa.

On his official Twitter feed, Chamisa accused the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of releasing the parliamentary results first to prepare Zimbabweans for a Mnangagwa presidential victory.

A joint statement by worldwide election observers including the United States, the European Union, the African Union, and the United Kingdom expressed "grave concern" over the violence and urged the electoral commission to release the results "expeditiously".

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.

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Worldwide observers who had initially given high praise for Zimbabwe's peaceful elections, issued more cautiously worded preliminary post-election results, alluding to some inconsistencies that could legitimize the opposition and its supporters' concerns.

Harare, Zimbabwe: on 1st August 2018, the Head of the SADC Electoral Observation Mission (SEOM) to the 2018 Harmonized Elections in the Republic of Zimbabwe, His Excellency Manuel Domingos Augusto, Minister of External Relations of the Republic of Angola released the Mission's Preliminary Statement, at a press conference held at the Rainbow Towers Hotel, Harare, Zimbabwe, regarding the 30 July 2018 Harmonized elections that represented a political milestone in Zimbabwe's history.

"As we speak, it has been discovered that ZEC did not post V11 forms at 21% of the polling stations, and we are gravely concerned by their failure to do so", he said.

The ruling Zanu-PF party has won the majority of parliamentary seats.

After first indicating it would release presidential vote totals on Wednesday, the electoral commission said it would wait until Thursday, adding that agents for the more than 20 candidates must verify them first.

"Mr Mnangagwa knows it, that he has lost this election", he told reporters.

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This photo taken on January 7, 2017 shows Zimbabwe's then acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa speaking during a funeral ceremony in Harare.

He said: "We have seen how we have won in those areas including rural areas, we were leading, and now they want to hide on the Zanu PF usual manipulation that they control rural areas".

Tendai Biti, the senior official of MDC's seven-party coalition who was reported to be wanted by Zimbabwean police on Thursday morning has been let off the hook for now, SABC has reported.

The commission postponed announcing results of Monday's tightly fought presidential race, pitting Mr Mnangagwa against Mr Chamisa.

Masocha also said social media exaggerated Chamisa's popularity.

Incumbent leader Mr Mnangagwa, 75, had promised a free and fair vote after a military coup overthrew his former boss, Mr Mugabe, ushering him into power previous year. "We won the popular vote & will defend it!"

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Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) praised the electoral commission for using biometric kits to register voters, saying it reduced the possibility of multiple voting.

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